A WEIRD and wonderful array of artwork has been laid on at the Oxford Academy in a bid to get youngsters hooked on the arts.

The 'Open Source Artists' exhibition was created by Oxford University fine arts students to promote their subject in the face of funding cutbacks.

From now until Friday, May 12 students and the public can peruse paintings, sculptures, photography, prose and performance art in the school's bistro.

It followed a two-day visit to the school by Jose Mario Dello, from the university's Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art, who then rallied his fellow undergraduates.

Oxford Academy's head of art Jaclyn Wiid said he had been inspired by the 'predicament' faced by the arts curriculum following spending cuts.

She said: "It's being pushed out. We are very fortunate in that we still offer arts and graphic subjects at GCSE whereas other schools have cut the subjects completely.

"The curriculum needs to be more recognised for the kids to have these opportunities, even if it's just something they enjoy doing."

Between 2010 and 2015 funding to Arts Council England funding was cut by 32 per cent with local authority arts funding cut by £56m across the UK.

A 2015 report from Warwick University found that between 2003 and 2013 there was a 23 per cent drop in GCSE entries for drama and 25 per cent for other craft-related subjects, while since 2010, the number of arts teachers in schools had fallen by up to 11 per cent.

The launch event for Open Source Artists on Monday aimed to pique youngsters' curiosity about the arts and get them thinking about their future careers.

Mrs Wiid said: "Their reaction has been very mixed. The work challenges your preconceptions of what art is.

"Some of the students looked at it and didn't quite understand. It's really opened up a conversation about what art is and the different aspects to it."

A total of 16 students from Oxford University were involved, including Suzy Vanezis, whose sculpture, Moulding, was created using the funnels to pour silicone into moulds.

She said: "People kept telling me it looked like an apocalyptic, dystopian landscape; I'm from an industrial town and people saw this come out in my work.

"I thought the launch went really well. You don't have to be traditionally good at drawing or painting to be an artist.

"Some of the students weren't very impressed but that was the whole point of it really. We wanted to shock and subvert the idea of what art is; that's what sparks curiosity."